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The Crundwell Mansion, Part 2: Why Did Indicted Dixon Comptroller Build In Florida?

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Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell stuffed this Florida home with opulent, custom-made furnishings, authorities say. (CBS)

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell stuffed this Florida home with opulent, custom-made furnishings, authorities say. (CBS)

Marissa Bailey (CBS) Marissa Bailey
Marissa Bailey is the weekend anchor of the CBS 2 Chicago morning...
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(CBS) — In an exclusive report, CBS 2 showed you the Florida vacation home of the woman federal investigators say stole $53 million from the northern Illinois city of Dixon.

The question remains: Why did Rita Crundwell pick the tiny town of Englewood, Fla. to build her getaway?

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports.

“It’s the oddball, I guess you could say,” Matt Gouge says.

He lives two doors down from Crundwell’s Florida vacation home and says the white Mediterranean palace is the most mysterious, yet desired house on the block.

It’s twice the size, and twice the price of his own home.

So, why did Crundwell pick this sleepy little Florida town, 90 miles outside of Tampa to build her peaceful getaway?

The answer can be found across the street.

“It is the defendant’s boyfriend’s mother who lives across the street,” says Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service.

Crundwell has been dating avid horseman Jim McKillips for more than 20 years.

She built her home 821 East Fifth, directly across the street from where McKillips’ mother lives.

Crundwell and McKillips have not talked publicly since her April arrest.

U.S. marshals seized the Florida home and the elaborate, high-end custom furniture inside. They will soon auction each piece off – and, eventually the palace palace on the block — in hopes of getting some money back for Dixon taxpayers.

“We will be able to sell it,” Wojdylo says. “The question is, at what price?”

McKillips has not been charged in association with Crundwell in either the state or federal case against her. She is due back in federal court on Nov. 14.

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